Scrapes and cuts are inevitable, and most are not a big deal -- minor injuries often heal without treatment. However, some cuts and gashes require stitches to ensure proper healing and prevent infection. Stitches or surgical sutures hold body tissues together following an injury or surgery. Several factors determine whether or not a wound needs stitches, including the size and depth. Some cuts bleed significantly, making it difficult to determine if stitches are necessary.
There are two main goals of stitches: to help close wounds fully, to promote healing, and to prevent infection. In some cases, physicians may use stitches to prevent scarring in cosmetically significant areas. Different needle size, material, and sewing techniques suit different wounds. Though most stitches use a needle and some form of thread, minor injuries may only require adhesive liquid stitches -- essentially gluing the wound closed. Some wounds or procedures require both types.
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